Systematic checks on travellers at airports and seaports should not be ruled out in order to enhance European security, according to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Malta will not oppose changes to Schengen rules in the wake of heightened European security concerns at Thursday’s informal meeting of EU heads of government, he told The Sunday Times of Malta.

“The priority should remain to use the existing Schengen framework, which allows for increased ad hoc checks at borders. However, we should not rule out the option of a targeted proposal to amend the Schengen Border Code to reinforce external borders.”

Schengen countries impose no border controls on travellers to make transiting between countries easier. But the system came under fire in the wake of the Paris terrorist attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last month.

Dr Muscat said changes to the Schengen rules could lead to systematic checks on individuals against the different databases. “Such checks would have to be based on a set of common risk indicators,” he added.

More in The Sunday Times of Malta and the e-paper on Premium.

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